State Head of Public Instruction, O'Connell, to Speak at USD

ELDA Spotlight Series Focuses on Challenges to Making Great Schools

The School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at the University of San Diego welcomes State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell for the Educational Leadership Development Academy (ELDA) Spotlight on Education Series. O’Connell will speak at 5 p.m., Oct. 23, at Mother Rosalie Hill Hall.

The topic of the speech is “Changing Good Schools into Great Schools,” and will provide educators with an opportunity to engage in discussion with the superintendent about current educational issues in California.

O’Connell was elected to a second four-year term as State Superintendent of Public Instruction on June 6, 2006. As chief of California’s public school system and leader of the California Department of Education, O'Connell has focused on closing the achievement gap and preparing students for a rapidly changing global economy by holding high standards for all students. He is a strong supporter and facilitator of partnerships between schools, businesses, communities, and philanthropies in order to engage students with challenging, real-world education experiences.

He has worked to smooth the transitions between all segments of education, from preschool to college or the workplace. As a former high school teacher and author of the legislation creating the California High School Exit Exam, he has led a comprehensive effort to increase rigor and improve student achievement in California high schools. He has worked to fortify California's world-class academic standards, strengthen California’s school accountability and assessment systems and bolster state funding for public school classrooms. He also has been a leader among state school chiefs nationwide in an effort to increase flexibility and fairness in the federal No Child Left Behind school accountability system. He is a long-time advocate for smaller class sizes, improved teacher recruitment and retention, comprehensive testing, and up-to-date school facilities.

Additional ELDA speakers and dates in the 2008/09 series include:
November 20, 2008 - Anthony Muhammad
January 15, 2009 - Karin Chenoweth
February 18, 2009 - Willard Daggett
March 26, 2009 - Alan Blankstein

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About The University of San Diego

The University of San Diego, a Catholic Institution of higher learning chartered in 1949. The university enrolls approximately 7,500 undergraduate and graduate students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service. The inauguration this fall of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace brings the university’s total number of schools and colleges to six. Other academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business Administration, Education, Law and Nursing and Health Science.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.